The box office success of Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) is troubling because we have officially sold our souls to the whims of any franchise—forever. The film is based on a series of comic books by the same name initially created in 1969 and rebooted in 2008. The 2008 series served as inspiration of the film. Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is a human who is abducted from Earth in the 1980s moments after his mother dies from cancer. Years pass and Quill adopts the goofy, self-aggrandizing name ‘Star-Lord’ though he is a petty intergalactic pawn thief. Early in the film we are also introduced to the other principle characters: Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Drax (David Bautista). Without falling down the rabbit hole of explaining who is who, Guardians is basically a film about a group of misfits with different criminal and/or heroic skillsets who band together to save the galaxy from an evil plot by a character named Ronan (Lee Pace). Ronan plans to take over the galaxy by harnessing the powers of the mysterious ‘Infinity Stone’—which Quill unwittingly has in his possession. Guardians is a winning film because it abuses every conceivable aspect of movie success: viscerally nostalgic music from the ‘80s fills the soundtrack, it has a built-in fan base with the comic book series, it’s bursting with crowd pleasing actors, it barely has a plot (saving it for the sequels no less), has plenty of gratuitous action and makes no bones about ripping off the hero narrative of Star Wars (1977) with a little Big Trouble in Little China (1986) mixed in. Essentially, the film, produced for $170,000,000, is a perfect combination of branding and emotional manipulation. To this end Guardians has cashed in to the tune of over $600,000,000 worldwide since its August 1, 2014 release date. That’s astounding. There are few films that I flat out don’t like and Guardians is one of them. How can critics, audiences and studios have it wrong? They don’t. Guardians simply proves that everyone can be bought so long as you manufacture enough consent.